Blogs

The Weekender 19/10/2019

Hello, great to see you, hope you've had a good week so far.


Sport

So Bathurst - the Great Race - was on last Sunday and with Sky Sport providing cheap weekend viewing I was able to watch the entire race for the first time since it was on free television. Scott McLaughlin took provisional pole ahead of the Top Ten Shootout and I watched the shoot out - up to the last two cars when the Sky streaming coverage simply stopped. After an uproar from their customers, Sky refunded us all (so it became free!). Later on, I watched it and McLaughlin beat everyone in every part of the track to take pole.
Then on Sunday McLaughlin claimed his maiden Bathurst 1000 title after what really was a great race - but it is still a provisional result after his team told teammate Fabian Coulthard to slow down during a safety car period due to an overheating issue - which may or may not have been real. The officials are still looking into it and if it was a breach, deciding what to do.

In the Rugby World Cup Samoa bowed out being beaten 47-5 by Ireland even with (kiwi) Bundee Aki getting a red card in the 29th minute (and a three-week ban). Tonga exited the tournament but before they did they had their first win 31-19 over the United States. Scotland had threatened to sue the RWC if they didn't play as they needed to beat Japan to get through, but the game went ahead and Japan played really well beat them 28-21. That provoked huge celebration for Japan - their first-ever quarter-final's appearance.
The quarter-finals teams were decided with unbeaten Japan taking on South Africa, England vs Australia, France vs Wales and later on tonight (Saturday) the All Blacks take on Ireland. No one really knows how it is going to go, and it sounds like the Irish are getting more & more confident but I think the All Blacks are just quietly confident as well. The kids are sleeping in the lounge tonight, and we will be getting up to watch it (delayed slightly).

The Silver Ferns had back-to-back wins against Australia (including the World Cup final) when they won the first game of the Constellation Cup 53-52 in Christchurch, but Australia won the second game in Auckland.

The NZ Breakers were beaten 96-91 in their opening game of the ANBL against the Sydney Kings.


NZ News

Some local government election results are still coming through but in the big ones, the Hamilton Mayor has changed to Paula Southgate, beating incumbent Andrew King. In Auckland, Phil Goff easily retained his seat, as did Lianne Dalziel in Christchurch. Twenty-eight-year-old Campbell Barry has become NZ's youngest-ever mayor for Hutt City, and Judy Turner is the mayor of Whakatane. But the biggest news has been around the Wellington Mayor. Labour lapdog and incumbent Justin Lester appears to have been ousted but by not many votes so a recount is being called. He was beaten by the Sir Peter Jackson-backed Andy Foster. The new mayor is far less likely to care if the Greens threaten to quit the government if Wellington's transport plan isn't exactly what they want. Although maybe Lester won't be so happy to toe the party line if he does make it back in after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern claimed he ran as an independent, a very embarrassing saga for Lester since he was a Labour-endorsed candidate.

The latest Newshub-Reid poll shows a dramatic drop in the polls for Labour - down almost 10 points to 41.6%, with National gaining 6.5 to 43.9%. The Prime Minister's personal popularity has also dropped by 10.6% for the preferred Prime Minister. In the following 1News/Colmar Brunton poll, Labour had dropped to 40% and National and Act had the numbers to form a government with National on 47%.

Treasury has advised the Government that there is little evidence that their gun buyback scheme would avoid future gun-related death and injury. As most rational people can see, sure there might be fewer guns out there, but it's only going to be the law-abiding people who return their guns.
Labour MP Raymond Huo has claimed that National was better at NZ-China relations than Labour. The Prime Minister has dismissed the comments as a personal opinion - but seriously, it is personal opinion from a China-born Labour list MP!


The Numbers Game

550: jobs are in the balance as Mediaworks' TV business (TV3 etc) goes up for sale with no buyer in sight
5,376: council staff across the country earn more than $100,000 - out of a total of 30,497 staff
100m: $ for a new mental health facility in Hamilton
300m: $ upgrade for New Plymouth hospital


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.4914 (-0.0093)
EUR 0.5715 (-0.0025)
USD 0.6381 (0.0047)
AUD 0.9309 (-0.0016)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Keith Park
Saviour of Britain
A decorated fighter pilot in World War One, Keith Park was Commander-in-Chief of No. 11 Group during the Allied evacuation from Dunkirk (France) in the early part of World War Two. He was in charge of defending London and southern England from German bombing raids during the Battle of Britain.
In 1942, he led the defence of Malta. Highly decorated and awarded, knighted, and with a reputation for fearlessness, Park returned to New Zealand sometime after the war for a career in aviation and local government. It was thanks in part to Park’s role in World War Two that Winston Churchill memorably proclaimed: “Never in the history of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.”
https://www.nzedge.com/legends/warriors/legend-keith-park/


Joke of the Weekender

A man walked into the doctor’s office with a strawberry stuck in his ear.  “Can you help me, doctor?” he pled. The doctor looked closely, and said, “I think I’ve got some cream for that.”

 

Darren Harrison: darren@harrison.gen.nz
The Weekender: mailed weekly (Sunday nightish)
Website: www.dunwich.co.nz/weekender/
{If these just fill up your junk mail, then send me an email & I'll take you off the list | The Weekender is not a verified news source, sometimes it's even just an opinion}

The Weekender 12/10/2019

Welcome to Bathurst weekend! We take a short break in RWC coverage to glance over the ditch to the great race.


Sport

On Thursday Scott McLaughlin broke the lap record for Bathurst but was confident that he would be able to go even faster before the weekend was over. He made it into the Top 10 shoot out in Provisional Pole which runs in about an hour. The main race runs for six hours tomorrow afternoon.

Ok so the RWC has still been on, and here is what's happened. Japan beat Samoa 39-19 to be on the verge of reaching the quarter-finals. The All Blacks didn't back away from Namibia beating them 71-9, although it was only 24-9 at half time. Wales beat Fiji 29-17 to knock Fiji out and book their own quarter-finals spot.
This weekend a few games have been canceled because of a Typhoon including the All Blacks vs Italy, so the two points from the draw put us at the top of our pool. Other results are a bit more difficult to pin down with Scotland threatening legal action because they need a win to get through.

Tom Walsh only missed out by 1cm but had to settle for third in the shotput at Doha this week.

In UFC, kiwi (but Nigeria-born) Israel Adesanya knocked out Australian (but NZ-born) Robert Whittaker in the second round to become the UFC's undisputed middleweight champ.

In the NRL the Roosters won back-to-back titles, beating the Canberra Raiders 14-8 last Sunday.


NZ News

The Prime Minister has said that Green MP Eugenie Sage won't lose her Land Information portfolio even though the government has overturned her decision on foreign investment in Waihi. It's almost a game now, how will the PM defend her failed PM's next?
The government also had to comment on a blowout in the DHB deficits after it was announced the Health Boards are $1b in debt - $700m more than the forecast in May. And what they've done is blame National - two years into their term!
It didn't stop there, a damning report on NZTA concluded that it had failed in one of its major responsibilities - and so the government blamed National.
The Treasury had another data blunder in recent months after the Government's financial statements appeared on their website days before their official release. The Finance Minister says he "expects better".

As with their light rail and KiwiBuild promises, the government has now backed down on their EV promise. They had said that all government cars would be emissions-free by 2025, but given that since this government has been in power the percentage of government-owned EV vehicles has actually dropped, they had to do something and I guess they couldn't blame National this time - but they probably talked about it.

The local body elections finished up today so lots of results are starting to come through, but nothing definite yet - except that Tim Shadbolt is back as mayor for Invercargill.


The Numbers Game

5.2: M earthquake shook Gisborne early this week
24: degC in Hawke's Bay cities this week - higher than the 22 in Rarotonga
1,400: cases of the measles in Auckland as the outbreak has peaked and is starting to decline
650m: $ owed to DHB health workers after a Holidays Act error
7.5b: $ surplus - the biggest since the 2008 GFC - but still no sign of tax cuts - very socialist of them, "we will take all your money and we will do what is best"


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5007 (-0.0123)
EUR 0.5740 (-0.0022)
USD 0.6334 (0.0007)
AUD 0.9324 (-0.0019)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Te Rangi Hiroa / Peter Buck
Aotearoa Anthropologist
Te Rangi Hiroa/Sir Peter Buck’s achievements are astonishing for their diversity, reading more like a list of possible careers than a biography – a pioneering and internationally renowned anthropologist, the first Maori medical doctor, a politician, administrator, soldier, sportsperson and leader of the Maori people. Through exploring the Maori/Pakeha cross-cultural advantages of his birth, and exercising a scientific rigour that was largely self-taught, Peter Buck extended the edges of knowledge. His honorary doctorate from the University of Hawaii recognised his “Contribution to the knowledge of mankind” and likewise his honorary doctorate from Yale University lauded him as:
“First among those who know the peoples and cultures of the Polynesian world, medical doctor, warrior, ethnologist, author and poet, you have brought many races of people to greater understanding and peace.”
https://www.nzedge.com/legends/peter-buck-post/


Joke of the Weekender

You know it is going to be a bad day when the letters in your alphabet soup spell D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R.

 

Darren Harrison: darren@harrison.gen.nz
The Weekender: mailed weekly (Sunday nightish)
Website: www.dunwich.co.nz/weekender/
{If these just fill up your junk mail, then send me an email & I'll take you off the list | The Weekender is not a verified news source, sometimes it's even just an opinion}

The Weekender 05/10/2019

Welcome to October!


Sport

In the Rugby World Cup, the All Blacks beat Canada 63-0. The three Barrett brother all started and also all scored tries. In other games the Springboks have crushed Italy 49-3, Ireland beat Russia 35-0, Fiji beat Georgia 45-10, and Scotland beat Samoa 34-0. There were two big upsets during the week. Australia was beaten 29-25 by Wales and Ireland lost 19-12 to hosts Japan.


NZ News

NZ First MP Shane Jones went a little crazy when called out for politicising a Forestry Awards evening and telling everyone they needed to vote for NZ First or risk missing out on millions in funding. He went so far as to vow revenge on those who called him out. Apparently the Prime Minister told him off but that seems about as effective as not doing anything - and given her track record of disciplining MP's (i.e. not), the likelihood of Jones being punished as he should, is pretty slim.
That wasn't the end of the bad news for New Zealand First with their president quitting less than a year into the job and then telling everyone why. He wasn't given appropriate information on party donations and expenditure and refused to sign the documents due to his moral and business practise values.

The Ministry of Transport has apologised to National leader Simon Bridges after more than 1,000 submissions opposing the clean car free-rebate scheme, were blocked as spam.
The Labour Party were forced to pull an information brochure after it was found to have at least 50 pieces of unattributed plagiarism - and this isn't the first time this has happened to them.
The government has announced some changes to electrical pricing, but everyone is scratching their heads because it seems like most people will have to pay more. They are going to ban electricity companies charging less for people who pay early (60% of us), and they are banning electricity companies from offering discounts to customers who are leaving for a better deal. Labour's business sense seems to be as good as usual, stopping companies from charging us less and hoping it will result in a lower price.


The Numbers Game

400: Takahe our endangered flightless bird - the first time there have been this many in a century
13,000: people on the waitlist for public housing - a new record


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5130 (-0.0002)
EUR 0.5762 (-0.0002)
USD 0.6327 (0.0020)
AUD 0.9344 (0.0021)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Colin McCahon
“McCahon was the artist who gave New Zealand a powerful visual identity and for that, he is revered in his homeland. That he went further, to explore and communicate through the medium of painting the universal questions and concerns of humanity, is why we, in other parts of the world, must recognise him as a great modern Master.”
https://www.nzedge.com/legends/colin-mccahon/


Joke of the Weekender

My memory is getting so bad, I asked the pharmacist, “Do you have any Acetylsalicylic acid?”
“You mean aspirin?” asked the pharmacist.
“That’s it! I can never remember that word.”

 

Darren Harrison: darren@harrison.gen.nz
The Weekender: mailed weekly (Sunday nightish)
Website: www.dunwich.co.nz/weekender/
{If these just fill up your junk mail, then send me an email & I'll take you off the list | The Weekender is not a verified news source, sometimes it's even just an opinion}

The Weekender 28/09/2019

Welcome along, it has been a cold stormy blustery week!


Sport

Unlike most other teams, the All Blacks had a big game first up taking on South Africa on Saturday night. South Africa had a lot of possession & territory but in a seven-minute period, the All Blacks scored 17 points to win 23-13. It kind of seemed to me that the All Black just did what they needed to.
In other Rugby World Cup games, the big upset of the week was Uruguay beating Fiji 30-27, effectively knocking Fiji out. Italy beat Canada 48-7 and Manu Samoa had their first win at a RWC beating Russia 34-9. Wales beat Georgia 43-14, after being ahead 29-0 at half time, Ireland beat Scotland 27-3 and England beat Tonga 35-3.

Patrick Bevan was soo close at the 2019 World Road Champs in Yorkshire finishing 2.16 seconds behind the third place.


NZ News

NZ First MP Shane Jones has apparently told the forestry industry that they need to vote for him or miss out on the billions he's handing out for provincial growth.

PM Jacinda Ardern had a quick visit to Japan to see the All Blacks and then went on to the US for the UN General Debate including a quick side meeting with President Donald Trump. Ardern was so effective in her communication (not) as she discussed with Trump how NZ was implementing our gun buy-back scheme that the following day, Trump ditched gun reform. Also pointed out was that despite Ardern's strong rhetoric in the UN about climate change, she didn't even mention it to President Trump.
The Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced this week that the decile-based funding system will be abolished by 2021 or 2022.


The Numbers Game

1: # award from the North American rail industry for the team repairing the earthquake-damaged railway between Picton and Christchurch - the first entry outside North America to win
13: people arrested for laundering money in a sophisticated phone scam
15: years in jail for a Frenchman who imported 24kg of cocaine
500: fog cannons have been installed in small businesses, part of a (previous) government-funded safety initiative to reduce the risk of aggravated robberies - robberies have fallen 40% since April 2017
3m: $ in assets seized from organised syndicate by Police in a major crime bust
4,699,755: NZ's official population in 2018 - jumping by 457,707 since the previous census in 2013 - the largest growth by number since 1961
8.7m: $ deficit for ACC as interest rates plummet - I think we should be prepared to pay anything to avoid the litigious landscape of USA


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5131 (0.0113)
EUR 0.5764 (0.0083)
USD 0.6307 (0.0049)
AUD 0.9323 (0.0078)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Arthur Lydiard
New Zealand running coach Arthur Lydiard has been honoured by the International Athletics Federation.
https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/sport/399723/arthur-lydiard-honoured-by-iaaf


Joke of the Weekender

A doctor told his patient, “There’s good news and bad news. The bad news is, you have partial short-term memory loss.”
The patient said, “Oh no, Doctor. What’s the bad news?”

 

Darren Harrison: darren@harrison.gen.nz
The Weekender: mailed weekly (Sunday nightish)
Website: www.dunwich.co.nz/weekender/
{If these just fill up your junk mail, then send me an email & I'll take you off the list | The Weekender is not a verified news source, sometimes it's even just an opinion}

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